SoMe meetup IRL, Stockholm 2011

This is a different subject from my usual customer experience or corporate service offerings. I wanted to write about an event which I had been hoping to make happen for quite some time now; a tweetup with some social media friends. Yes, I had a blind date with some Tweeps tonight.
I have been cultivating a number of twitter relationships for about 15 months now, these are people, men and women from a number of continents and a variety of ages as well. The subjects will range from my interests in customer services to social media and at times general banter as well. I even have had a longer relationship with a guy who tortures me regularly every winter and has me almost tattooing IWBMATTKYT on my forehead. But that is for another story.



Tonight I met two SoMe contacts I had met online during my Social Media Certification course. Susan (@Garpin_) and Jan (@JanAinali) both Swedish and I hooked up at the Pressklubbe for dinner. A third Elin fell ill this week and could not make it this time. For the first time I met people who I only knew from online contacts. It was a strange feeling finally putting a live face to the person with whom I had exchanged tweets during the course as well as since then. I was a bit nervous heading to the place. But once I saw them, I knew who they were, we sat and the conversation began.

We talked about what we are working on, our thoughts of the course we took, what some of our opinions are on things like the role of creative marketing and social media and its longer term effects. Yeah, light stuff for us and dinner was not even served yet. We talked for 3 hours and not one of us pulled out a smartphone to update their status, not check their email. We just talked about items which interest us, actually interest most of us. And that was the key to the whole meeting.

This was not just a social. Not just a drink at the bar with 100 other tweebs which crowd a corner of the twitter world. We had been brought together by a certain interest in social media and how companies can be affected and how they can affect social media, and that is what we talked about. We had done this for months via the social channels, but now we were able to do the same and not in just 140 characters. And that was great. I speak a lot about social networking to a variety of people but seldom does this break the 90 minute mark and often it is one sided; my side.

This was a SoMe meetup IRL (Social Media meeting In Real Life). Like going on that blind date via a dating site – but a whole lot more. Definitely we will be repeating this!

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